Transgender employees at Netflix and their allies participated in a walkout yesterday (Oct. 21) in reaction to Dave Chappelle special The Closer, which has been accused of homophobia and transphobia. There are now reports that Chappelle is open to dialogue with the employees.
According to PEOPLE, a rep for the 48-year-old comedian told the outlet, "Dave stands by his Art. Both sides of the street are talking and Dave is listening. At some point, when everyone is open, I'm sure our communities will come together.”
Activist Ashlee Marie Preston, who is a Black trans woman and organized the walk-out, told PEOPLE she previously reached out to Chappelle after his 2019 special Sticks & Stones.
"If Dave were truly willing to come to the table, I would sit at it and respectfully have the conversation," Preston said.
Before the walk out, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos said he “screwed” up in addressing employee concerns and also added “I should have led with a lot more humanity.”
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Sarandos maintains Netflix has no plans to remove the special.
This is the 48-year-old’s sixth and final Netflix special. The other specials include The Age Of Spin, Deep in The Heart Of Texas, Equanimity, The Bird Revelation and Sticks & Stones. All six are directed by Emmy-winning director Stan Lathan.